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The 7th Learning Disabilities and Autism: Promoting Positive Outcomes Conference

  • Tuesday, 24 September 2019
  • ETC.Venues Prospero House, London
  • 08:30 - 15:45
Expert Speakers
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  • Overview

Open Forum Events has developed a reputation for delivering high quality conferences focusing on the lives of people living with learning disabilities and/or autism. We are pleased to announce that we are expanding our portfolio of such meetings with the publication of our 7th event- Learning Disabilities and Autism: Promoting Positive Outcomes.

With soundbites from the government on future social care and the NHS pledging to make learning disabilities and/or autism a ‘national priority’ in their upcoming 10-year plan, this conference will be concentrating on the support and services that are essential for people to thrive. Individuals with learning disabilities and/or autism have the same basic rights to receive equity in areas such as healthcare, independent living, employment opportunities and accommodation. Removing the barriers and providing adequate provision is essential.

The conference agenda will introduce new speakers, delivering expert insight into areas of interest not previously addressed.
Attendees at this event will benefit from significant, informative content that will focus on enhancing lives and fulfilling potential.

Discussion areas will include:

  • meeting future needs
  • support provision and initiatives already in place and fulfilling a role
  • examples of best-case practice

Open Forum Events is pleased to invite delegates, old and new, to a day of knowledge sharing, discussion and networking. Ideally, the information gained will be applied and utilised in contributing to positive outcomes for people with learning disabilities and/or autism.


There are around 1.5m people in the UK who have a learning disability and around 700,000 people living with autism.
A learning disability affects the way a person learns new things; how they understand and interpret information; and how they communicate.
‘Autism is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with
and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them.’

(Source:The National Autistic Society

Both can present themselves as mild, moderate or severe, which dictates the level of intervention and support needed by each individual. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. Reviewing the most recent activity, there are two significant announcements designed to improve the lives of people with learning difficulties and/or autism.
Firstly, the government has announced a “parallel programme of work” on working-age adults with care needs, which would be aligned with a new green paper on older people’s social care. Secondly, as the NHS prepares its 10-year plan, it has committed to making learning difficulties and/or autism a priority, as it strives to improve health services.
The Learning Disabilities and Autism: Promoting Positive Outcomes conference will address a number of needs that are being met by services and initiatives that are already in operation and making a difference. Eradicating health inequalities is key to ensuring that people can experience good health and wellbeing.
Promoting in work support schemes cannot only assist work retention but can remove some of the obstacles in the recruitment process. To provide themselves with secure work, some people have gone down the self-advocacy route, creating meaningful jobs for themselves, whilst helping to dictate the future services on offer.
Following the Winterbourne View scandal, keeping people out of institutions has been a priority and the closures of such places continue. Having safe and caring environments in the community, as provided by the Shared Lives programmes, can help with the progress towards independent living, provide respite for carers and develop meaningful bonds and relationships.
There may be other considerations, running in parallel, that can impact on the quality of people’s lives.
As the general population continues to get older, proportionally the number of people with learning difficulties and/or autism rises, exposing them to risk of developing dementia.
Challenging behaviour and complex histories can also create additional concern and requires sensitive handling.
Join us at The Learning Disabilities and Autism: Promoting Positive Outcomes where the conversation continues on this most important subject


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  • Confirmed Speakers

  • Event Programme


Registration and Coffee in the Networking Area


Chair's Opening Address

  • Jane Carolan, Deputy CEO and Director of Operations , Autism Together (confirmed)

Keynote Address

  • Dr Tom Jackson, Clinical Lead & Head of Learning Disability Services - South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Director of the Yorkshire & Humber Learning Disability & Autism Operational Delivery Network, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SWYPFT) (confirmed)
"The NHS Long Term Plan for People with Learning Disabilities & Autism"

The presentation will:

Briefly describe the history of health care policy in relation to people with learning disabilities & autism as context for Transforming Care Programme and Long-Term Plan.
Identify key drivers for change in the delivery of health service for people with learning disabilities & autism.
Outline the proposals and vision of the NHS Long Term Plan for people with Learning Disabilities & Autism.

  • Diane Lightfoot, Chief Executive Officer, Business Disability Forum (confirmed)
"Going Places: supporting people with learning disabilities and autism into work and in the workforce"

This session will look at what works in supporting people with learning disabilities and autism into the workforce in a fast-moving world. It will cover the current employment landscape, the changing nature of entry level jobs and practical steps that employers can take to remove barriers at all stages of the candidate and employee journey. Diane will also share good practice case studies from Business Disability Forum’s membership and other projects.

"A Family's Journey"

Having a child with learning disabilities has an impact not only on the child but on the entire family. This is likely to lead to a journey of challenges, from diagnosis and education to socialisation and health. I am the parent of an 18 yr old dyslexic, dyspraxic and proprioception disordered son. I will be talking about what it has been like as the parent of a child with learning disabilities; the frustration and joy, the obstacles and the triumphs.


Question and Answer Session


Coffee in the Networking Area

  • Natasha Chopra, Service Manager, Disrupting Exploitation Service– London, The Children’s Society (confirmed)
"Recognising, reporting and responding to Child Criminal Exploitation"

The team works for The Children’s Society as a Project Workers on the Disrupting Exploitation programme. They work with children and young people who are ‘at risk’ of criminal exploitation, aiming to intervene as early as possible to prevent exploitation. The team also works with partners to ensure that the ‘systems’ around young people are supporting them in the best way that they can.


Case Study

  • Allyson Kay, Divisional Director for East of England & London, Consensus Support (confirmed)
  • Belinda Robinson, Head of Developments & Partnerships , Consensus Support (confirmed)
"MY FUTURE – Today, Tomorrow and the next day"

- Support for young people with learning disabilities, autism and complex needs requires empathy, understanding and specialist positive behaviour intervention to help positively shape their lives and open up opportunities for a fulfilling life as an adult. At Consensus we know that the support provided now helps shape the person’s future. Taking each day at a time, our teams take a person centred and PBS approach to help young people understand their triggers, behaviours, anger and anxieties and develop strategies to help manage them. Boundaries and consequences through the teenage years are also vital so they can develop and grow in the very best way they can and go on to live a positive way of life as an adult. We will look at the stories of 2 young people we have supported at Belstead Mews, our transition service in Ipswich from age 12 who had many emotional challenges and how our teams have helped them fulfil their goals and have a positive outlook for their future. The presentation also looks at new models of housing and support suitable for young adults aged 18+ as they become more independent and have on-going choice and control over how they live their life.

  • Dr Sunny Kalsy-Lillico, Head of Psychology & Psychological Therapies, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (confirmed)
"Supporting People with a Learning Disability and Dementia"

People with learning disabilities are five times more likely than those in the general population to develop dementia. There is a demand for the needs of people with learning disabilities and dementia to be better addressed to improve quality of life for the individual and their family/carers


Case Study

  • Rachel Silver, Expert by Experience, MacIntyre (confirmed)
  • Nicola Payne, Health and Families Manager , MacIntyre (confirmed)
"The Emotional Impact of Dementia on Two Best Friends"

A diagnosis of dementia impacts not only the person involved, but their friends, family, flatmates and lots of other relationships too. The journey towards a diagnosis for a person with a learning disability can be extremely lengthy, with lots of obstacles to overcome along the way. Often a person can first be diagnosed with other illnesses or conditions before the diagnosis of dementia is given. The whole process can leave both the person and their friends and family confused, unsure of how to move forward or how to continue to support the person to lead a fulfilling life.

This presentation will tell the story of two lifelong best friends, Alison and Rachel, and the impact that Alison’s diagnosis of dementia had on their friendship.


Question and Answer Session


Lunch in the Networking Area


Chair’s Afternoon Address


Case Study

  • Graeme Cheyne, Director of Marketing and Admissions, Ruskin Mill (confirmed)
"Practical Skills Therapeutic Education "
  • Paul Allis, Business Development Director, Brain in Hand Ltd (confirmed)
"Increasing Independence with Tailored Support "

Brain in Hand’s team know that providing tailored support to neurodiverse people, and recognising that everyone’s strengths are different, can make all the difference. Someone who might find it hard to overcome practical problems, organise their time more effectively, or manage their anxieties may well have the capability to set and work towards their own goals with greater independence if given just a little extra help. Support services can and should be a collaboration between support teams and service users. Engaging service users in their own support and self-management empowers and motivates individuals to achieve their goals and this can be achieved and delivered using digital self-management tools.

Meanwhile, organisations providing support must identify ways to enable people to achieve their own goals and to reduce their dependency on services and people around them; this gives teams and carers more time and freedom to direct their energy and resources where they’re most needed. In this session we’ll explore how making small changes with innovative solutions can make a big difference. It is so important to remember that support services should be a collaboration between support teams and service users. Engaging service users in their own support and self-management empowers and motivates individuals to achieve their goals and this can be achieved and delivered using digital self-management tools.

  • Jason Bardell, Practice Development Director , Waymarks (confirmed)
"Recovery in the Community – ‘why should I bother?"

Waymarks recognises that the people with learning disabilities who have gone on to offend have not had many/if any positive relational experiences with others, and also recognising that this is one of the best ways to learn and motivate people to live fulfilling and safe lives.

  • Rachel Turner, Shared Lives Ambassador, Shared Lives Plus (confirmed)
"Shared Lives"

Shared Lives is a scheme that finds suitable host families for adults who would otherwise face a very different future. The initiative gives adults with learning difficulties and/or autism the opportunity to live as part of the family and community of an adult care provider.


Question and Answer Session


Chair’s Closing Remarks


Event Close

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  • Contact Details
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  • Featured Events
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  • Who will attend

Contact Details




ETC.Venues Prospero House, London

ETC.Venues Prospero House, London

Our flexible and modern venue is situated over three floors, alongside two relaxing restaurants. The two large conference suites that can accommodate up to 300 people, are both conveniently located next to networking and exhibition space. Additional smaller meeting and training rooms range in capacities from 10 to 300 ensuring that Prospero House is perfect for any size event.

The venue is equipped with state-of-the-art AV, plasma screens and superfast wifi and they even include all the little touches that help make your event a success, such as flip charts and delegate stationery. An event team is on hand to ensure any event runs smoothly, and the in-house chefs produce freshly prepared lunches, breakfasts and all day snacks. Its fantastic location, opposite Borough tube station and a short walk from London Bridge and trendy Borough Market, means its ideally suited for clients both North and South of the river.

Featured Events

  • Living Well with Autism: Beyond the Limitations

    • 28 May 2015
    • 08:00 - 13:30
    • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre
  • Autism: The Challenges and Opportunities

    • 01 June 2016
    • 08:30 - 14:00
    • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre
  • Improving Lives: Autism and Learning Difficulties

    • 12 October 2017
    • 08:30 - 16:30
    • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre
  • Improving Lives: Supporting Adults with Learning Disabilities

    • 31 January 2017
    • 08:30 - 16:15
    • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre
  • Learning Disabilities: Fulfilling Potential and Supporting Better Lives

    • 13 March 2018
    • 08:30 - 16:00
    • The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
  • Learning Disabilities and Autism: Promoting Positive Outcomes

    • 12 March 2019
    • 08:30 - 15:45
    • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre

Downloads & Resources

  • Open Forum Events Sponsorship Brochure
    Open Forum Events offer a number of partnership, sponsorship and exhibition opportunities that can meet your marketing and business development needs.
  • 7th Learning Disabilities and Autism Conference
    7th Learning Disabilities and Autism Conference

who will attend

  • Carer's
  • Clinical Commissioning Group member's
  • Clinical Psychologist's
  • Councillor's
  • Direct Payment Team member
  • Director's / Manager's of Care Homes
  • Director's of Adult Mental Health Services
  • Director's of Adult Safeguarding
  • Director's of Adult Social Services
  • Director's of Community / Domiciliary Care
  • Director's of Disability Services
  • Director's of Older People's Services
  • Director's of Public Health
  • Director's of Supported / Sheltered Housing
  • Doctor's
  • DoLS (Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards) Co-Ordinator's
  • Health and Wellbeing Boards member's
  • Health Visitor's
  • Learning Disability / Disability Liaison Nurse's
  • Neighbourhood and Community Policing Team member's
  • Nurse's
  • Outreach worker's
  • Personalisation and Self-Directed Support Team member's
  • Probation Officer's
  • Safeguarding Adults Board member's
  • Senior Police Personnel
  • Support Worker's